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CITY TRIBUNE

230 sign petitions against proposal for four-storey apartment block

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City planners have told the company behind plans for a four-storey apartment block in Knocknacarra – where two councillors have joined more than 230 locals in opposition – to scale back the proposal.

Last March, plans were lodged with Galway City Council for the construction of the 18 apartments on the site of unfinished houses on Bóthar Stiofáin, with access from the Cloch Ard estate.

Dragamara Ltd, owned by Rebecca Elliffe-Crehan, sought to build 14 two-bed and 4 one-bed apartments included in the proposal.

A total of 15 objections were received to the plans – including petitions signed by more than 230 people – while local area councillors John Connolly and Donal Lyons also objected.

The Council has now told the company that the design and height of the development is considered excessive – its density and the height of the building must be reduced.

It added that while a contemporary-designed building is welcome, they wanted proposals which would “enhance the design assimilation into the surrounding area”.

Planners said the layout proposed a carparking area as part of the communal space, which was not acceptable – they requested a revised proposal “which ensures the maximum level of communal open space is provided for”.

Issues were also raised by the Council over traffic and transportation – they have ordered that carparking be revised so that all spaces meet City Development Plan requirements and have sought a detailed assessment on cycle parking and turning ability of vehicles adjacent to the apartment parking area.

An objection, signed by 190 residents living in the estates on Bóthar Stiofáin, said the proposal is “totally at odds” with the existing pattern of two-storey houses in the area.

“Residents are deeply concerned by the vehicular entrance to the proposed development. The entrance will provide access for over 20 additional cars in the Clock Ard estate within 25m of the junction of Cloch Ard and Bóthar Stiofáin. The standard vehicular entrance within the estate are designed to accommodate one to two cars.

“We are also concerned by the proposed drop-off along the entrance to Cloch Ard and would contend it offers specific hazard to pedestrians and cyclists,” it reads.

The objection added that the building would have the capacity to view the private amenity spaces of many residences in neighbouring estates and on the main road.

Other objectors voiced concerns about excessive increases in traffic and potential for illegal parking in Cloch Ard and that gardens would be overlooked and overshadowed.

Councillors Donal Lyons (Ind) said the application would reduce the quality of life of residents living adjacent to the site and that it went against good planning as it contravened to Galway City Development Plan.

More than 30 residents of Bóthar Stiofáin signed a separate objection noting similar concerns, adding that the location is poorly served by public transport and that there is a lack of green space and play areas within the complex.

Those concerns were echoed in a separate objection from Cllr John Connolly (FF).

Dragamara now has six months to respond to the Council or the application will be deemed to be withdrawn.

CITY TRIBUNE

Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.

It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.

General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.

She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.

Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.

Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.

Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.

She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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